On May 17, PayPal hosted its second flagship event of PayPal Small Business Month, partnering with Kiva to reach microbusinesses in the Bay Area. The all-day event, hosted in Oakland, CA, included approximately 50 local entrepreneurs, some with established small businesses and some who are just starting.
The day began with keynote remarks from Franz Paasche, SVP of Corporate Affairs at PayPal, and Premal Shah, President and Co-Founder of Kiva. The two executives communicated how PayPal and Kiva each prioritize small businesses in the products and services that they create. Both companies share a mission of financial inclusion and democratizing financial services for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and experience.
Small Business workshops and presentations were given throughout the day on small business access to capital, PayPal’s product suite and other digital solutions available to help small businesses grow. The day also included focus group discussions to achieve the PayPal Small Business Month goal of learning from entrepreneurs and ways companies like PayPal can improve the small business experience.
During lunch, the attendees heard varying perspectives from the public and private sector on resources that are available to small businesses to help them grow. Speaking on the panel was Jose Corona, Director of Equity & Partnerships for Mayor Libby Schaff, Jesse Torres, Deputy Director of Small Business & Innovation, and Junaid Razzak, PayPal Sr. Dr. of Professional Services. The group was able to discuss the range of innovative solutions being created and offered by both the public sectors through the state of California and City of Oakland as well as the private sector through companies like PayPal.
The event also included a merchant panel discussion, providing an opportunity for the small businesses in attendance to learn from their peers, fellow entrepreneurs. Christina Battle (Isalis), Feliciai, and Trevor (Oakstop) shared their small business success stories and advice for burgeoning entrepreneurs. The discussion also relayed the common challenges small business owners experience and how to avoid and solve those pain points. Barbara Leslie from the Oakland Chamber of Commerce moderated the panel.
Overall, the event was an excellent opportunity to engage with the local community of entrepreneurs in the Bay area and particularly support women and minority owned businesses as part of the broader mission of PayPal Small Business Month.